Cavendish Update Special Post 3/7/18 Svec/Weather/Town Meeting

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A very special thank you to Hans and Therese Schrag, whose Cavendish Connects donation has made this Special Post possible.

 3/7/18 SPECIAL POST

1. Remembering Rich Svec

2. Town Meeting Results

3. Weather Alert

1. REMEMBERING RICH SVEC: The sudden passing of Rich Svec, former Cavendish Town manager, on Town Meeting Day (March 5, 2018) has been a shock to the community. Having worked for the town for almost 30 years, and continuing to serve the community in his retirement in various capacities, this Monday was the first town meeting that many attended where Rich was not present.

In an incredible show of strength and courage, the town office-Brendan McNamara, town manager, Bruce McEnaney, Asst. Town Manager; Diane McNamara, Clerk; Jen Leak and Ginny Garrow-made sure that the Annual Town Meeting went off without a hitch. "Rich would have expected this of us," was a frequently heard comment.

Rich's contributions to Cavendish are lengthy and he has steered the town through revitalization (Proctorsville Green and village); the recovery from tropical storm Irene without the town having to go into debt; and the installation of solar power to name just a few. However, it was his human touch that people are talking about. One family wrote, "Rich always treated us so well even though we were the worst at paying our taxes etc. on time."

Cynthia Stoddard wrote " As a new Town Manager a few years ago, he always made me feel so welcome and at ease when we all gathered together. He will be missed by so many."

Steve Birge summed up what many are writing on the Cavendish VT Facebook Page. Such a great man, a very special man. He will be missed beyond words.

What free time he had, Rich was devoted to his family-his wife Peggy and children Max and Kathryn. However, he had a serious addiction-curling! In fact, he recruited others in town to play on his team. When the US Men's Olympic Curling team won in February, we were only too happy to direct people to Rich who wanted to know more about the sport and how they could participate.

Many have asked about services. At the family’s request, we are posting the following information: There are no services at this time. However, early in the summer there will be a celebration of life for Rich. It will be piggybacked with the dedication of the Proctorsville Town Green, as it will be the twentieth anniversary of his much loved community project. 

 

If you wish to make a donation in his memory, the family has selected the following that were very near and dear to him: 

Upper Valley Curling Club 69 Kings Highway West Windsor, Vermont 05089

 

• Cavendish Family Fund. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Cavendish, with the reference/subject listing: Cavendish Family Fund. They can be mailed to Cavendish Town Office,  PO Box 126, Cavendish, Vermont  05142. Donations can also be dropped off at the Town Office during normal working hours

As much as Cavendish is grieving the loss of Rich, we know how much harder it is for his wife, children and family. We send to them are sympathies, love and the knowledge that we will be there for them in the same way Rich was always there for the town.

An obituary will be forth coming and we will keep the town informed about the Celebration of Life.

2. TOWN MEETING RESULTS: March 5: Town: All articles were passed (page 8-9 of the Annual Report). The budget was amended to take $200 from the Red Cross and give it to Black River Good Neighbor. Motions that were made, but failed to gain a majority vote included the elimination of the Windsor County Sheriff, who primarily provides traffic control and changing the article for dissolving the position of Town Constable to just changing it for a year.

A number of people voiced their frustration with the Sheriffs in how they carry out their duties. These included lack of courtesy for those being stopped; not getting out of their car to control traffic at the intersection of 103 and 131 during rush hour; and basically targeting locals with unnecessary tickets. Town manager, Brendan McNamara, asked that people bring their concerns directly to the select board so they in turn can see that problems are corrected.

Under “other business,” the voters were asked how many were having problem with Internet, more than half of those in attendance raised their hands. More hands were raised when the question was asked if they wanted fiber wired to the home. However, some people lowered their hand when the question was then posed about whether they would be willing to pay if a bond vote was needed to make this possible. These questions were being asked to help the Telecommunications Committee as they try and see that high speed Internet is available town wide.

School: All articles were passed (page 59 of the Annual Report). Med Powden, Two Rivers Supervisory Union’s (TRSU) superintendent and CTES principal George Thomson,  made a presentation on the proposed budget. The overwhelming sentiment of those in attendance was that the budget should be voted down for the following reasons:

• Does not meet the promises of Act 46.

• While there are increases in spending for administrators, there are decreases for students

• There was a considerable lack of transparency in the process

• The budget was rushed and not well thought out

There was a handout at the meeting encouraging people to vote no, which summarized much of what people were saying. The over riding point is that people are in support of their school and teachers, yet the process has been rushed to meet dead lines set by those outside the community-e.g. VT Dept. of Education. Basically, the sentiment, as noted in the handout is,  We need to slow this process down and work together as parents, community members, voters, teachers and staff to define what models are working now, and what changes can be made to maintain and improve services while potentially cutting costs. This process needs to be led by local stakeholders – the same people impacted by our schools’ performance, budget and long range impact on our communities. People in our towns need time to heal from the Act 46 process and to come together again to build common goals for our children and our communities.  

Board member Doug McBride has consistently voted no to the various budget proposals, but Fred Marin, who has voted yes, noted that the budget is not as good as it could be and that the process was severely hampered by lack of time and trust. He thought it could be tweaked however and was in favor of a “yes” vote.

Another issue raised was that are no specific quantifiable goals and objectives for the GMUSD and TRSU. McBride stated what his over riding goal would be, an exceptional school, not one that’s “just good enough.”

March 6 (Election Day): Two hundred and seventeen (217) Cavendish voters cast ballots. There were no uncontested races. The one write in candidate with sufficient votes to fill a position was Diane McNamara for own Grand Junior.

The towns of Cavendish, Chester, Andover and Baltimore voted on the Green Mountain Unified School District (GMUSD) budget. By a vote of 394 No to 345 Yes the budget failed to pass. No separate tallies are available by town.

3. WEATHER ALERT: The VT Department of Public Safety has issued an alert about the approaching storm, which will most likely result in our area seeing more than a foot of snow. Travel will be impacted during the storm and power outages are possible. 

During a significant snow event, it is important to take steps to avoid health hazards, especially carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause flu-like illness or death. Symptoms of CO poisoning include nausea, headache, and dizziness. If you feel these symptoms, leave the home and call for help.

Other safety reminders

• Check on neighbors

• Clear all heating vents of snow

• Only call 911 for emergencies. Use www.511vt.com for road information

• Stay way from downed power lines

• Limit travel to only what’s necessary

• Take it easy while shoveling

• Never use a generator indoors

If an emergency situation arises in town, please check the Cavendish VT Facebook page for updates. You do not have to be a member to use this page. Check out Cavendish Connects Emergency Preparedness section.